Best of the Best: ASLC Litpicks 2016

Grade 7-12 recommendations

Through historical photographs, documents, and first-person narratives from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people who survived residential schools, this book offers an account of the injustice of this period in Canadian history. It documents how this official racism was confronted and finally acknowledged.

Lissa

“… effectively presents honest portrayals of strong, hopeful, and courageous indigenous youth living non-stereotypical lives. Not to be missed.”

-School Library Journal, starred review

Marvel Absolutely Everything You Need To Know is packed with fun facts, bizarre-but-true tales, and quirky insights into everyone's favorite Marvel comic characters, including The Avengers, Spider-Man, and Daredevil.

Lissa

"…what sets this book apart is that each experiment is accompanied by real-world applications that tie new observations to kids' existing understanding and offer endless opportunities for STEM-related discussions."

-Booklist

Lissa

This book is packed with a high-octane mix of the world's hottest cars, from supremely stylish sports classics to the latest in fullthrottle supercars and hypercars, incredible one-offs and phenomenally fast record-breaking land vehicles.

Karen

"The Serpent King is by turns melancholic and hopeful, beautifully weaving rural privation, teenage friendship, and the burden of family legacy into a work that unnerves and uplifts. . . “

-Tracy Moore, writer for Jezebel.com

“Disturbing, heartbreaking, and inspiring...This unflinchingly honest work is a strong choice for readers who appreciate unfiltered stories.”

-School Library Journal

". . .this important story of a teenager learning to live with clinical depression is informative and highly rewarding."

-Booklist, starred review

Lissa

“Chee’s debut is an intricate, multi layered reading experience… An exploration of self-determination and the magic of the written word, Sefia’s story is an absorbing introduction to the Sea of Ink and Gold series.”

-Publishers Weekly, starred review

Lissa

"An intriguing tale of illness, love, loss, and betrayal that is sure to reel in teens looking for something with a little bit of darkness hidden in the pages"

-School Library Journal

“Billy and Mads’s romance is tender and sweet, and Caletti’s lyrical, sometimes witty narration pulls readers close to both teenagers’ tangled emotions in a complex exploration of grief, mental illness, the redemptive power of storytelling, and the hope found in unexpected places.”

-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Solomon's descriptions of his anxiety are achingly real..Readers will easily come to care about these bright, wonderfully nerdy, flawed characters."

-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Lissa

A story of deceit and murder, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature.

This sensational new novel from Ian McEwan, which will make readers first gasp with astonishment then laugh with delight.

"A delicious blend of masterfully executed elements... Bardugo outdoes herself in this exhilarating follow-up, and series fans will have their eyes glued to every page.”

-Booklist, starred review.

Lissa

X-Men meets Heroes when New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld teams up with award-winning authors Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti in the second book of an explosive new trilogy about a group of teens with amazing abilities.

Lissa

“A searing pair of intertwined stories about the line between science and humanity, told with Oliver’s signature grace, uniqueness, and precision. It’s a new story every way you turn it-but always gorgeous, always haunting.”

-Marie Lu, author of The Young Elites

"This story has everything covered in its mashup of romance, mystery, adventure, horror creatures, fantasy lore, and gothic atmosphere . . . Readers will not be able to put it down."

- VOYA

Lissa

"A paranormal Southern gothic with decadent settings, mysterious magic and family histories rife with debauchery."

-Kirkus Reviews

"Not for the faint of heart, this is a gory and grimly compelling story, made more so by the novel's visual elements."

-Booklist

"At its core, this is a love story—romantic, familial, and, above all, friend-to-friend—with a unique hook. Keeley, though brash, is a relatable heroine who will speak to teens facing their own times of transition."

-Booklist

“A fast-paced story with an interesting hook, and a thoughtful look at what it means to be human versus what it means to be a monster. The end result is a superbly crafted debut bound to entrance.”

-Booklist, starred review

“A luscious, indulgent read about the addictive escapism of writing fiction, with Coakley making inventive and crafty use of her source material. This is part BBC miniseries and part literary Minecraft for the bookiest book lover.”

-The Globe and Mail

Lissa

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot.

"If there is a hint of Cinderella in this charming story, it’s Cinderella in a well-realized real-world setting with appropriate ups and downs, joys and sorrows."

-Booklist, starred review

Same But Different, explores the funny, painful, and unexpected aspects of teen autism, while daring to address issues nobody talks about. Same But Different underscores tolerance, love, and the understanding that everybody's unique drumbeat is worth dancing to.

Lissa

King (The Incredible Space Raiders from Space!) offers a candid and memorable account of life with OCD, inspired by his own experience with the anxiety disorder. . . Daniel’s pain and confusion at what he comes to realize is OCD is memorably portrayed in this moving story of self-acceptance.

-Publishers Weekly

Lissa

"Sensitively and candidly demonstrating how small actions can result in enormous change, this memoir of two families' transformation through the commitment and affection of long-distance friends will humble and inspire."

-Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The main characters are all well-drawn, strong women, and the wartime events are well researched and accurate. The alternative history and wartime plot, which reads like a movie, will appeal to many.”

-School Library Journal

“This Faustian tale is a hit for horror fans looking for a world of mystery, the macabre, and lots of fire and fighting.”

-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Coming soon . ..

"Wayne's is an authentic, funny, and sometimes sarcastic teen voice, which comes through clearly, even when he can't speak out loud.... in this sweet tale of survival, heroism, and the search for strength."

-School Library Journal

"Smart, funny, and immensely likable, Jacky is a colorful narrator and an increasingly interesting character, and her struggles will strike a chord with many readers.... The many black-and-white cartoon-style drawings increase the book's appeal."

-Booklist

"While Hermione is a victim, Johnson never portrays her as victimized, instead focusing on how Hermione reasserts control over her life with help from family, friends, and therapy, using her own decisions to push back against something in which she had no such choice."

-Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Gephart sympathetically contrasts the physical awkwardness, uncertainty, and longings of these two outsiders during a few tightly-plotted months, building to a crescendo of revelation…[A] valuable portrait of two teenagers whose journeys are just beginning.”

-Publishers Weekly

"Spare and poignant, every word of this haunting and elegant novel in verse feels painstakingly selected....Fain's story is simply a brilliantly crafted coming-of-age novel that will appeal to the hearts and minds of all readers who have ever felt alone."

-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Offer this winning graphic novel to fans of Fullmetal Alchemist and Avatar: The Last Airbender, who will appreciate its mix of fun and adventure and its exploration of questions of identity, belonging, and history. A superb beginning."

-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Lissa

You don't just read this ghost story. You step into it. Some houses are more than just haunted... they're hungry.

All the grim, gruesome, and gory bits of history they never teach you in school! Kids will love the scrapbook style and all the illustrations and charts!

Lissa

“Austrian and Curato turn the simple wedding of two worms into a three-ring circus that slyly turns the whole controversy over same-sex versus heterosexual marriage on its head.” Kirkus Reviews

“This is a story of not long ago and not far away.

It is the story of a boy who loves stamps and a boy who loves words.

This is the story of a life that is lost.

And found.”

“A dystopian picture book, set in a shadowy, depopulated city at an indeterminate time..”

Publisher’s Weekly

This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child's confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who's ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult.

“The Magician of Auschwitz tells of friendship in the face of terrible conditions. It is a wonderful springboard for discussion about the Second World War and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust.”

Quill and Quire

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Junior/Senior BofB October 2016 - Google Slides